The Rockefeller Family Fund has announced its intention to divest from fossil fuels and “eliminate holdings” of ExxonMobil.
The family-led public charity said the process will be completed “as quickly as possible”.
It singled out ExxonMobil, describing the oil giant’s conduct on climate issues as “morally reprehensible”.
It added while the global community works to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, “it makes little sense – financially or ethically – to continue holding investment in these companies”.
The charity said in a statement: “Evidence appears to suggest that the company worked since the 1980s to confuse the public about climate change’s march while simultaneously spending millions to fortify its own infrastructure against climate change’s destructive consequences and track new exploration opportunities as the Arctic’s ice receded.”
It went on: “There is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons. The science and intent enunciated by the Paris agreement cannot be more clear: far from finding additional sources of fossil fuels, we must keep most of the already discovered reserves in the ground if there is any hope for human and natural ecosystems to survive and thrive in the decades ahead.”
ExxonMobil insisted it is helping meet the challenge of addressing climate change by supplying “cleaner-burner natural gas, spreading emissions-reducing technologies, encouraging energy efficiency and pursuing research with university partners to advance the search for solutions”.
It added: “It’s not surprising that the Rockefeller Family Fund is divesting from the company since the Rockefeller Family Fund provided financial support to InsideClimate News and Columbia University Journalism School which produced inaccurate and deliberately misleading stories about ExxonMobil’s history of climate research.
“The stories wrongly suggested that we had reached definitive conclusions about the risks of climate change decades before the world’s experts and while climate science was in an early stage of development.
“It is unfortunate that they continue to fund these attacks against us when we would all be better served by working together to deal with the risks of climate change and world economic development.”